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Forget the iPad: Why I just bought the Galaxy Tab A for $160 on Cyber Monday

Galaxy Tab A
(Image credit: Samsung)

While "10-inch tablet" and "iPad" may seem synonymous, the iPad isn't necessarily a bargain. Even at its steepest discount ever, an iPad will run you $230

Consider, instead, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A: a 10-inch tablet with an HD screen, an uncluttered Android OS and a sleek physical design. As a Cyber Monday deal, you can grab the $230 tablet for just $160 — and, as a matter of fact, I did.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A: was $230, now $160 @ Best Buy
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A has everything you need in a tablet, from its 1900 x 1200 pixel display, to its 32 GB storage, to its 2 GB RAM, to its refined Android OS. The Galaxy Tab A usually costs $230, but for Cyber Monday, Best Buy has slashed $70 off that price.View Deal

To put this in perspective, the last time I bought a tablet was in 2012, and it was a Google Nexus 10. The tablet performed beautifully for years, but gradually lost battery life and performance quality. I got rid of it a few months back, and have been looking for a new 10-inch table to fill the void. But I didn't need anything incredibly powerful — I just wanted something to watch videos, read comics and occasionally act as a second screen.

This Samsung Galaxy Tab A deal could not have come at a better time. I'm planning to take about a dozen flights over the next three months, and if you've never flown with a large tablet, trust me: It makes a difference. Watching an in-flight movie (or two, or three) on your five-inch phone screen is just not the same.

So far, I'm pleased with the Galaxy Tab A's performance, but I'm not surprised, considering its specs. You get a moderately powerful Exynos 7904A processor, a respectable 2 GB RAM, 32 GB internal storage (expandable via microSD) and a 1900 x 1200 screen for slightly-better-than-full-HD picture. Samsung claims that the device can last up to 10 hours on a single charge.

The Galaxy Tab A is hardly the most powerful tablet out there, but if you want a tablet primarily for entertainment purposes, you don't really need all the bells and whistles of a Surface — or even an iPad. At $160, this gadget won't wipe out your bank account, either, leaving some funds available to buy holiday presents for friends and family.

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